La Vie en Rose

2007

Marion Cotillard's performance as iconic French chanteuse Edith Piaf is the main, but not the only, reason to see this seductively nostalgic biopic. Writer-director Olivier Dahan (Already Dead) gives the proceedings a show-bizzy American tilt, but Piaf's Gallic working-class roots are showing. She and the film are at their best when Piaf is making her hardscrabble way up from the Parisian gutter to the heights, as a singer of international hit torch songs in the 1940s and '50s, while Cotillard lip-synchs. Americans typically found Piaf too sad; the movie shows how she got that way. Costarring Sylvie Testud, Emmanuelle Seigner, and Jean-Pierre Martins (as Piaf's boxer lover), and beautifully shot by Tetsuo Nagata.

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La Vie en Rose

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